The World's Most Dangerous Snake
The taipan, which is unique to Australia and New Guinea, is regarded by many as the world's most dangerous snake because of its toxic bite and aggressive nature. It is apparent from Aboriginal Dreamtime folklore that the taipan has long been a feared part of their life, its bite known to cause death. Its venom is 7.8 times more toxic than that of the Indian cobra and it is the third most toxic snake in the world.
Here is a thorough account of this deadly and fascinating reptile. There are interesting anecdotes about early encounters, its biology, behaviour and habitat, stories of some of the leading naturalists in the field, case histories of taipan snakebite through to an account of the development of an antivenom.
The taipan has had to come ever increasingly in contact with man as its habitat decreases. However snakes play an important role in a balanced ecosystem and as naturalist David Fleay once noted: "Even such a sinister fellow as the taipan has his own undoubted magnificence."